Patrick Hackett: Towards Excellence
Do you ever ask yourself ‘Why do I work at The University of Manchester?’ At some point, every one of us has decided that this is where we want to be. Whilst we’ve all got our own reasons for making that decision, many of us want to work somewhere that makes a real difference to the real world. Whatever job you do here, you’re contributing to changing people’s lives through our research, teaching and learning, student experience and our social responsibility commitments.
We all want to be part of an organisation which is great at what it does. For almost 200 years our University has been at the forefront of some of the most fundamental developments the world has seen – from inventing the first modern computer, to leading social change movements.
Throughout our history we’ve never been afraid to embrace opportunities, take a few risks and do things differently. Every one of us who works here now has the chance to build on that heritage and take our University forward into its third century of excellence.
But we’re not going to get there by standing still and letting change happen around us. Change is normal and will carry on happening whether we like it or not. What we can do is be better placed to manage and cope with change, to feel confident to question and challenge ourselves to do things in different and better ways.
Sometimes this will mean stopping doing things we’ve done for years and letting go. Sometimes it will be about trying new approaches and not being afraid to fail. Both of these can be daunting and a bit worrying at times – but they also offer up some brilliant opportunities.
You might have heard about some of the transformational projects already underway like the Student Lifecycle Project, the Faculty Review in Science and Engineering and our IT Services Modernisation Programme.
Throughout this transformation programme we’ve been asking colleagues to get involved in sharing ideas, identifying good practice and discussing areas for improvement. They’ve also been able to share frustrations when things haven’t gone right.
There will be more projects as we respond to future challenges and opportunities. Inevitably these projects will result in changes to teams, processes, greater coordination amongst colleagues, and the introduction of more agile ways of working. You’ll be hearing much more detail – about these and others on the horizon which will have implications for the PS – in the coming weeks and months.
The reason that this message comes not just from me but from the whole Professional Services Leadership Team is because we all share the view change shouldn’t be decided by a handful of people at the top of an organisation. I’m giving you my commitment, and the commitment of my colleagues, that we will involve you by listening to your ideas and thoughts. We will take on board your concerns and wherever possible involve you in making decisions about our future direction. We recognise that how we do things matters as much as what we do and what we are aiming to achieve.
Sometimes as a leadership team we will ultimately have to make some hard decisions, but where we do, we will be up front with you about these and will support you through them. Together we will continue to make a difference and aspire to excellence in all we do.
Signed by Patrick and PSLT